Mauricio Terebiznik

University of Toronto
Project Title: Harnessing the diversity of phage display libraries to capitalize on single domain antibodies with high target affinity and improved protease stability
Industry Partner: AbCelex
Platform: Agile Computing, Blue Gene/Q

Health

AbCelex Technologies is developing a line of novel antibody-based products delivered as feed additives to poultry for the prevention of food-borne illnesses caused by Campylobacter and Salmonella spp. AbCelex’s single domain antibody (sdAb) platform technology is based on camelid antibodies, which have significantly higher thermal and protease stability, accessibility to target due to their small size (1/10 of conventional antibody) while providing affinities that exceed that of conventional antibodies.
The current platform utilizes bioinformatics approaches that take into account genetic and protein diversity of the pathogens and in silico antibody engineering predictions to inform optimal design of sdAbs with competitive affinity, effectivity and cost as feed additives.

In this project, we aim to combine the benefits of the natural scaffold of the camelid antibody and the expertise we have developed on understanding the interactions of these sdAbs with their target to develop computational libraries that we can then validate in vitro, ex vivo and ultimately in vivo.
For this purpose, we propose to collaborate with Dr. Mauricio Terebiznik, with whom we have been developing a detailed database of the target-antibody interaction mechanisms. He is an expert in cellular biology mechanisms altered by the pathogens such as Salmonella.

The major barrier to achieve this aim is access to high performance computing and the SOSCIP platform is ideal to overcome this barrier. Furthermore, the postdoctoral funding will allow the candidate to build on the backbone of camelid antibodies rationally selected peptides that would provide target specificity and cross-reactivity across different strains of the same bacterial pathogen through this proposed collaboration.